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Japan's Suga says to brief on party leadership race, in signal he intends to run

FILE PHOTO: Japan's top government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga smiles during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan August 26, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he would hold a briefing on the ruling party’s leadership election later on Wednesday, all but confirming plans to announce his candidacy in a race he is widely expected to win.

Suga, a longtime ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has privately indicated his intention to stand for leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a source has told Reuters. The party’s leader will almost certainly be the next prime minister given the LDP’s majority in the lower house of parliament.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam